THE chairman of the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches (GSFA) has issued a video message setting out four priorities for “orthodox” bishops attending the Lambeth Conference at the end of this month.
The chairman, the Archbishop of South Sudan, the Most Revd Justin Badi, said that the first of the four objectives was to foster the unity of orthodox Anglicans, while being “a faithful witness and defender of the faith once delivered”.
The second was to “sound a clarion call to biblical faithfulness”. This would mean seeking the reaffirmation of Resolution 1.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference as “the official teaching of the Anglican Church on marriage”.
A statement accompanying the video message said that, “if agreed”, this would “directly challenge” delegates from the Episcopal Church in the United States, the Anglican Churches of Canada and in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, the Scottish Episcopal Church, and the Church in Wales, all of which have authorised the blessing of same-sex marriages.
The third objective was “to stand by” the position that the GSFA was not a breakaway group. The group saw itself “theologically as part of the holy remnant that God has preserved in the Communion”, he said.
Finally, the fourth objective was to “spur on the faithful” to spread the gospel, Archbishop Badi said. He hoped that the bishops attending would “speak with one voice and be united in the gospel truth”.
The accompanying statement says that the invitation by the Archbishop of Canterbury to all serving bishops in the Anglican Communion has “caused great pain” to orthodox leaders, because it included bishops supportive of same-sex relationships.
“Orthodox bishops who hold firm to the Bible’s teaching on marriage and sexuality have had to solemnly decide, in keeping also with their respective Provincial processes, whether or not to attend the gathering,” it says.
The GSFA and the Evangelical Fellowship in the Anglican Communion (EFAC) have set up what they are calling a “resource group” to support orthodox archbishops and bishops attending the conference.
“The GSFA leadership and the GSFA-EFAC Lambeth Resource Group . . . urge all Christians across the Communion to pray for all who shall be attending,” the statement says.